The BIOS on my Acer 1694 laptop was 3 years old and I did manage to find an updated version of the same on the Acer support web site. However ever after trying for about say 10 times, I couldn’t upgrade the BIOS from Windows Vista.
The upgrade from Vista always ended with a blue screen and a system restart. I even booted from the Vista DVD and got into the command console (using Alt + F10 on the License screen) and tried updating the BIOS using command line; again blue screen followed by a system restart !!
After digging through some forums I realized that the BIOS could only be updated via XP which meant that I had to install XP again !
Installing XP from Acer Vendor DVD means that I would have to loose the primary partition (C:\) since the DVD does a ghost copy of Windows XP to C:\. Vista was also unfortunately hosted on this primary partition
Acer does come with a hidden partition which can be used to do a Disk to Disk (D2D) recovery and you can invoke this by pressing Alt+F10 during the BIOS setup.
(If the Alt+F10 option is not invoking the D2D recovery on your Acer laptop, the Acer MBR might have been corrupted or overwritten by some Linux/Vista installation and you have to rewrite the Acer MBR again. )
I restored the Acer MBR and tried the Alt+F10 option expecting a D2D menu ! To my shock the D2D recovery started running immediately and started copying files onto to the primary partition without any user confirmation.
I successfully managed to loose the data on my primary partition yet again !!! The only consolation was the fact that D2D helped me in getting XP up and running with all drivers in just 10 minutes !! I also upgraded the BIOS with no trouble; not sure what the trouble with Vista was !
I also realized that it was in my best interest to have both Vista and XP running on the laptop, so that I could switch between them whenever necessary ! However setting up this dual boot was also not straightforward (especially if you have a OEM version of Windows XP); More details on this in the next post !!